Why are you in this industry/occupation?

I am a teaching and research academic at the University of Sydney. I honour the responsibility to educate the next generation of scientists. I want to inspire students, especially young women, and to encourage them into postgraduate studies and a research career in science. It is important to have successful women academics to send the message that a woman can be a teacher, a researcher and a mother too.

What are the benefits?

I love academia because of the challenges and the opportunity for continual learning and discovery. Teaching is wonderfully rewarding and satisfying – I love being the messenger of amazing scientific stories and discoveries. Academia also offers a lot of autonomy and flexibility which is critical when raising a family.

What are the drawbacks?

Balancing work, ambition and family life are big important issues that currently confront me. The bureaucracy of a large institution is crippling and frustrating! The lack of acknowledgement and understanding of the barriers to women in science by senior management makes it extremely difficult for women to succeed.

Why do you encourage other women and girls to consider this industry/occupation?

There just aren’t enough women pursuing a scientific career at senior levels. This makes it really tough for young women to break through the ivory ceiling. If we can get a better gender balance at the top levels this will ultimately bring about a cultural change needed

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